Hello, we are Batipai!
In Chioggia, near Venice (Italy), we are restoring Freccia Azzurra, the last sailing burcio of the Venice lagoon. We want to give a new life to this large and ancient wooden boat, preserving her historical value and imagining a new way for her to be. We want to transform Freccia Azzurra into a floating and moving cultural hub: an on-board living space from which to run events, artistic performances, workshops and to create opportunities to meet-up, discuss and act for water and environment preservation.
We have already carried out important structural works on the boat’s hull, and we are facing now the last and most demanding phase of the restoration on the interiors and main deck, to realize the dream of welcoming people on board starting from summer 2024.
FRECCIA AZZURRA: THE LAST SAILING BURCIO
Wonder. Echoes of memory. Belonging to our place. Resistance. Future.
This is what we felt when in 2017 we saw for the first time Freccia Azzurra, a large 1957 wooden burcio more than 20 meters long, the last one still sailing.
Freccia Azzurra had been laid up for demolition. Like all the other burci, ancient river boats used for centuries for work and transport along the waterways connecting Venice and its lagoon to the mainland, the last one was now about to disappear forever.
An exciting adventure began for us that day.
We decided to save Freccia Azzurra and to restore her in order to preserve her historical value, imagining a new way for her to be on the water. A new use that will be different from the past, with a purpose in the present and the ability to look at the future, starting from what was at risk of being forgotten forever.
The project: a floating cultural hub
The goal of our project is to transform Freccia Azzurra into a floating cultural hub:
a living museum where the past becomes present and evolves towards a different idea of tomorrow;
a traveling platform on board from which to run events, artistic performances, workshops while being immersed in nature;
a space open to all, where people can meet, regenerate culture and community, discuss, create new opportunities and ideas;
a sentinel to guarantee the sustainable future of our waterways: a means to reconnect with them, to contribute to their protection and to give them a new voice;
a champion to spread a message of change wherever there are people ready to listen it.
What has been done so far, and what needs to be done now
In recent years we have carried out important structural work on the hull of the boat. We have removed the crane and the old engines, and carried out a 3D photogrammetric study to keep a record of the work. Now we are completing the restoration of the interiors and the main deck. This phase of the restoration project is challenging, urgent and vital.
Challenging, because its total cost is approximately € 50,000.
Urgent, because Freccia Azzurra cannot wait anymore: it is necessary to complete this phase over the next few months in order not to risk losing all the work done so far, and the boat itself.
Vital, because completing these works will allow us to realize the dream of welcoming people on board for events and activities starting from summer 2024. Many artists, performers and experts are ready to set sail with us: they are just waiting the restoration being completed!
Together we have already raised more than € 21,000 thanks to 248 supporters participating to the crowdfunding campaing we launched between Feb-May 2023. It is an amasing result, but we still need your support.
We want you to come on board with us and be part of this journey, to make it continue all together!
Who we are - Associazione Culturale Batipai
We are Enrico, Alessandra, Giulia, and Riccardo. A squerariòl (builder of traditional wooden boats), a communication and sustainability expert, a documentarist and photographer, and an engineer passionated about boats and sailing.
Together with Giacomo, Leonardo, Camilla, Diego, Davide and many others, we are Batipai. Young peers, friends, and a Cultural Association born from the union of our different experiences and common passions, which since 2018 has continued to grow involving more and more people in the ideal project of a community that rolls up its sleeves and proceeds slowly but surely between water and land, commitment and tradition, in the direction of a change that starts from us.